Thursday, December 24, 2009

my q&a's

I would love to know how you came to know the Lord.
I am so glad this topic came up. I actually love this question. So here it goes.

I was raised in the Catholic church. I went to a Catholic elementary school and my family attended Mass most Sundays. I always knew that I was supposed to love God, but that was about all I knew. We had religion classes at school and I knew most of the stories from the Bible, but nothing ever hit home. When I was fourteen years old I attended a Christian church retreat called "Breakthrough" during Christmas break. We spent around five days in a camp-like setting, worshipping and singing God's praises. What really impacted me during my time here were the speakers - their emotional plea for us to let God enter our hearts touched me more than anything had at that point in my life. By the end of the retreat, I was completely dedicated to serving the Lord. I didn't care about material things. All I wanted was to feel the love of my God.

Fastforward to the summer before my senior year of high school. I was seventeen years old and had lost my way many times. I was rebellious and selfish and only cared about myself. My relationship with God had taken a back seat to everything else in my life. I did attend a weekly bible study (mostly just to socialize with my friends) and through this bible study I signed up to attend a week long YoungLife camp called SharpTop  in Jasper, GA. I honestly did not want to go. But I am so glad I did. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it took this week of isolation in paradise to remind me about the love our Heavenly Father had for me. I cried a lot, and I accepted Christ into my heart in front of all my peers.

Then, I went off to college. Those years just flew by and are mostly a blur. God was again the last thing on my mind.

A few years later, I met my husband. We fell in love. He moved to Mississippi from Costa Rica. He is Baptist, which surprised me at first because 90% of Latin America is Catholic. Both his parents were raised Catholic, and they converted to Baptist when they married. At this point, I was not regularly attending church. I actually had not been to church in months. Danny's parents are devout Christians, and he was raised going to church every single Sunday. God was a huge part of his life. He wanted to find a church here that he could start attending, and I was little help. He randomly, and I mean randomly, chose a church in Ridgeland (at this point we lived in Canton - about 20 minutes away) called First Baptist Church Ridgeland. At first, I was hard-headed and did not want to attend a Baptist church. I kept thinking "I'm Catholic! I can't go to a Baptist church!" But how Catholic was I, really? I rarely attended church and hadn't talked to God in ages. So I decided to give FBCR a try because it was really important to Danny. He asked the pastor of the church, Dr. Bennett, to marry us. My mother really wanted a priest to marry us, but since we were not getting married inside the church (we had an outdoor wedding) the Catholic church would not bless our marriage. Danny and I went to several of the required marriage counseling sessions and I could tell that Dr. Bennett really had an interest in us and our relationship. Danny continued to attend church every Sunday without me. I remember his mother telling him not to pressure me to go with him, that doing so would push me away even more. And her advice worked. After watching Danny leave for church every Sunday without me over the course of three or four months, I began to go with him. It really changed me. For the first time in my life, I actually listened to what the pastor was saying and I felt like he was speaking directly to me. He touched me in so many ways and I actually felt God in my life. I started to really feel Him in every aspect of my life. I felt guidance for the first time. My eyes would fill with tears everytime I prayed because I actually felt the Spirit inside me. I began talking to God throughout the day and always turned to Him when I felt down. He became number one in my life. I am sitting here right now, shaking, unable to find the words to explain how profoundly my life changed. God was in my heart, again! And this time I knew He was here to stay. I owe it all to Dr. Bennett and the people of FBCR. They welcomed us into their church home with open arms, and Dr. Bennett helped me to repair my broken relationship with the Lord.

A year and a half later, God still brings me great peace. I look forward to meeting Him in Heaven one day. I talk to Him throughout the day, asking Him to help me be more in His image. I thank Him for sending down an angel in the form of Dr. Bennett. I thank Him for my husband and my family. I thank Him for sending His only son to die on the cross, so that we may have eternal life. He transcends the test of time. He is the single most important thing in my life.

Words are my passion, and yet I am simply unable to fully describe the enormous impact He has had on my life.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

What is your novel about?
I've actually been working on it for a while now, and I've written nearly 15 pages. It's a very rough draft. I'm waiting until I finish the entire novel before editing anything. It will at least take me another 2-5 years to finish. It is loosely based on my life, but it is definitely fiction. There are lots of little twists and turns sprinkled in and I really enjoy delving into the characters' lives and bringing them to life. To answer your question, it is about a young girl finding an unexpected love and the trials and tribulations that naturally come along with it.

When do you and your husband plan on having kids? How many?
We get asked this question all the time for some reason. We were both 21 years old when we got married, and to many this is entirely too young; but for us, it was just right. Now, we are both 23 years old (we are only six weeks apart) and not quite ready to start a family. It sounds strange to say "start a family" because I already consider the two of us a family. Danny says he wants to wait until we're 30 to have kids, but I want to start a little younger. We compromised and agreed that in about four to five years we would be ready. It is important to both of us that we are not only finacially stable, but also emotionally prepared for a baby. Of course, if God decided that now was the time, we would welcome a baby with open arms.

We both want at least three to four children. Danny's mom has six sisters and one brother, so he grew up with about 25 cousins. He also has two brothers, and I have two brothers and a sister…so we both came from big immediate and extended families. We really love large families.

Merry Christmas! :)


Lil' Woman said...

Love learning new things about my blog friends...I hope to someday read your future novel! :)

Sarah Denley said...

Okay, hope I'm not too late but I have a few...

1. What is the best Christmas present you've ever received? Ever given?

2. What is your dream job?

3. What is one thing in your life you'd like a "do over" on?